2/12th Infantry Regiment in Vietnam
4th Infantry Division
OCT 1966 - AUG 1967
25th Infantry Division
AUG 1967 - MAR 1971
JANUARY 1966 - Establishment of Cu Chi Base Camp
The 1st Division's 3d Brigade (Col. Brodbeck) was tasked with preparing the way for the 25th,
and Operation BUCKSKIN commenced to clear the area of the enemy.
The 3d Bde, 1st Div., established a forward command post at Trung Lap in late January 1966.
"Nearly evey day of the operation the Americans found ample signs of the Viet Cong's
presence - booby traps, mines, weapons, ammuniion, supplies, bunkers, and tunnel systems -
but few soldiers."¹
"On 24 January, certain that no large Viet Cong units were in the area, Colonel Brodbeck
moved his brigade to Cu Chi proper to establish a perimeter around what was to become the
25th Division's new home. Almost immediately, his troops turned up a series of trenches and
tunnels that seemed to permeate the site in every direction."
"On the morning of 30 January, with the 25's 2d Brigade largely in place, Brodbeck turned over
control of Cu Chi to the brigade commander, Col. Lynnwood M. Johnson, and returned to Lai
"But the job had just begun, and Colonel Johnson's troops spent much of the next few months
trying to clear the 25th Divisions base camp of the maze of tunnels that lay beneth it. In one
month alone the 2d Brigade lost 50 men killed and 350 wounded. The tunnels of Cu Chi would
torment the 25th Division for years to come."
Deployment of the 4th Infantry Division to Viet-Nam
August 1966 saw the 2nd Brigade, 4th Infantry Division deployed to the "Central Highlands"
(Pleiku Area of Operations), followed in October by the 1st Brigade and a few days later by
he 3rd Brigade - 2nd and 3rd Bn's 22nd and the 2/12th - who were diverted to the southeast
Deployment of 25th Division to VN
The 25th was the Pacific Commands contingency force and on December 24th, they were told
to deploy an initial force of 4000 men to Vietnam. The 25th was already involved with the war
because of sending 100 men there as door gunners.
3d BRIGADE to Pleiku Province by air ( Operation Blue Light ) Mid January 1966
2d BRIGADE to Vung Tau via ship then on to Cu Chi - arrived at port on January 18, 1966
(The 25th's commanding general, Maj. Gen. Frederick C. Weyland, arrived in Mar66.)
1st BRIGADE to Vung Tau via ship the airlifted to Cu Chi - arrived at port on Apr 29,1966
In the CU CHI/SAIGON CORRIDOR (1966) the 25th had "six [infantry] battalions and three
cavalry troops (two armored and one airmobile)...."
The 2/12th Infantry is stationed at FT. LEWIS, Washington as a part of the 4th Infantry Division. The
12th was a 'Train and Retain' outfit - which meant that the new draftee (or enlistee) assigned to the unit took
Basic Training and Advanced Training WITHIN the battalion.
2/12th INFANTRY FORMING AT FORT LEWIS, WASHINGTON
Because of the need to rapidly build up the U.S. Army a program was established whereby new recruits ("inductees"
or "Boots") would not go to "Boot Camp" for their basic training, but would go directly to the unit that they would
have been assigned to (after Boot Camp). Under this system the civilian became a soldier within the battalion and
learned his military specialy or job - known as one's military occupational specialty(MOS). This system was known as
Train & Retain. The officers and NCO's who would eventually lead them in Vietnam trained the new 2/12th recruits for
the next few months.
Enemy troops began using the RPG-2 for the first time in South Vietnam.
1 Jul 66
COUNTEROFFENSIVE, PHASE II begins.
A U.S. military history 'Named Campaign' ending 31May1967. Individuals who served during this
period are authorized to wear one (1) bronze Battle Star on their Vietnam Service Medal ribbon -
representing participation in the Vietnam Counteroffensive, Phase II.
Lieutenant Colonel Marvin "Red" Fuller was the 2/12th battalion commander from September 1966
until the Spring of 1967. He "trained-up" the battalion at Fort
Lewis, WA and was it's first commander in Viet Nam.
22 SEP 1966
Troop ship U.S.S. Nelson Walker carrying the 2/12th Infantry
leaves Tacoma, Wash. wharf for Viet Nam in Southeast Asia .
The battalion shipped over to Viet Nam on the USS Walker, a troop transport that carried many units
to Vietnam at the beginning of the war. On October 12th the 2nd Battalion, 12th Infantry arrived in
Vung Tau, Viet Nam. The 2/12th Inf. was part of the 3rd Brigade, 4th Infantry Division who were
headquarted in Central Vietnam. After landing, the battalion was initially stationed at BEARCAT
(Camp Martin Cox vic YS1498). Bearcat - east of Saigon along Highway 15 - was newly established in
March 1966 and first manned by the 2d Brigade, 1st Division. Because the 3rd Brigade was so far away
from their parent 4th Division, who were headquartered in the Central Highlands, the 2/12th was
placed under the operational control of the 25th Infantry Division's HQ.
12 OCT 66
"3rd Bde, 4th Inf Div lands at Vung Tau, completing the Division's deployment to RVN. They debark
from the USS Walker and convoy 30 miles inland to Bearcat, which becomes their temporary home. It
takes six days with the help of the 1st Div, 2nd Bde and their MP force to move all their equipment
from Vung Tau to Bearcat.
19 OCT 66
Over the next few days, the Battalion gets training and briefed about warfare in Vietnam from the 1st Div, 2nd
Bde which is sharing the base camp at that time. The 1st Div was the first full unit deployed to Vietnam and
has been in-country about 18 months prior to the arrival of the 2/12th. They share their lessons learned
about combat tactics, booby traps and intelligence on the enemy. The 1st Div, 2nd Bde has more to do with
the arrival of the 4th Div, 3rd Bde than just training however. As the 3rd Bde is settling in at Camp Bearcat,
the 1st Div, 2nd Bde and the 2/16th Rangers are dispatched up to Dau Tieng the following month and begin
conducting sweeps around the area looking for hostiles while creating a 'safe zone' to operate in.
The information about the 1st Division's activities comes courtesy of Fred (missing last name) who served
with A Co, 2/16th Rangers. He was kind enough to provide the documents detailing the activities of the Div
as it crossed paths with the 4th Div's arrival at Camp Bearcat. Fred was there from 1966-67.
21 OCT 66
C Co KIA:
PVT Robert F. Ehlers (20) of Saint Paul, MN perished in Viet Nam.
PFC Ehlers death is logged as a misadventure, which means he was killed by friendly fire. His death
occurred only 9 days after the unit arrives in country. This happened in the area of Bearcat base camp,
which was the first location the unit was deployed to.
[NOTE: Charlie Company suffered the first and last of the 2/12th Infantry's killed-in-action in Viet-
Nam. The battalions last KIA was PFC Paul L. Bradshaw (Co. C), killed-in-action on 2 MAR 1971.]
Sometime around this period, the 2nd Bde, 1st Div leaves Bearcat and convoys north to the area of
Dau Tieng and is involved in several operations, one being OP Battle Creek which involves sweeping
and clearing the area around Dau Tieng in preparation of establishing a base camp in the area.
19 Nov 66 to 2 February 1967
19 NOV 66 to December 31, 1966
The 2/12th Inf opens and helps build a major new base camp at DAU TIENG [Tri Tam, Binh Duong Province]
CAMP RAINIER (vic XT492479).
The new base was established as a direct result of the events of OPERATION ATTLEBORO, Phase II [1-5 NOV
1966], an operation designed to "break in" the 196th LIB by introducing them to combat. This operation also
involved the 25th Div. After the 1/27th Infantry "Wolfhounds" were severely mauled by the 272nd VC and
101st NVA Regiments the need for a stronger presence in the Dau Tieng area became apparent to the 25th
December 1st, the 12th Evacuation Hospital opens for operation in Cu Chi with a 120 bed facility and expects
to expand to 150 beds by the 1st of January, 1967.
OPERATION FORT NISQUALLY (19 Nov 1966- Continuing).
This operation involved the displacement of the 3d Bde, 4th Inf Div to DAU TIENG from Bearcat east of
Saigon and started around November 19th with the Bn convoying north to it's new home. Subsequent
actions were to secure the immediate area and build a base camp (named Camp Rainier after the mountain
in Washington, near the home of the 2/12th in Ft. Lewis) next to the village of Dau Tieng and eliminate
enemy influence in the Bde TAOR.
As the 3rd Bde, 4th Div is settling in to it's new home, the 2nd Bde, 1st Div is actively conducting operations
around the surrounding area. They would turn over control of Dau Tieng to the 4th Div on November 26th
and return to their own TAOR near Di An, north of Saigon.
The 2d Bn, 12th Inf and 2d Bn (M), 22d Inf conducted continuous operations in the area surrounding DAU
TIENG. These operations have consisted of cordon and search of local villages, search and destroy
operations in outlying areas and continuous patrolling and ambushing. The mission of this operation is to
conduct operations to secure the area adjacent to the base camp at DAU TIENG and eliminate VC influence
in the 3d Bde, 4th Div TAOR. Troop C, 1st Sqdn, 10th Cav continues to secure the road from DAU TIENG to
TAY NINH. Simultaneously, S&D operations were conducted in the TAOR using the two available battalions,
2d Bn, 12th Inf and 2d Bn (M), 22d Inf in a rotating fashion. American troops were constantly on operations.
Contact has remained light throughout the operation. Maximum use has been made of small unit patrols
and BUSHMASTERS. Fire support throughout the operation has been provided by 2d Bn, 77th Arty, located
at DAU TIENG. On 11 Jan, 3d Bn, 22d Inf with Btry C, 2d Bn, 77th Arty moved to DAU TIENG. Results of the
operation to date are: 21 VC KIA (BC), 2 VC (poss), 26 PW and 53 Det. Twenty assorted small arms, 35.7 tons
rice, 2 FM radios, 77.5 lbs documents and assorted supplies were captured. In addition, 37.7 tons rice, 125
lbs meat, 1630 gals fuel oil, 160 underground fortifications, 1 trench, 4 tunnels, 72 foxholes, 33 punji pits
and other munitions were destroyed..
14 Nov 66 to 26 Nov 1966 - BIG RED ONE, 1st Div, 1st and 2nd Bde's
The 1st Div, 2nd Bde led by the 2/16th "rangers" are ordered north to Dau Tieng to conduct Operation Battle Creek, a search and destroy mission that involves the surrounding area, the village of Dau Tieng and the rubber plantations of the Ben Cui and Michelin areas. The mission is to create a buffer zone of safety around the future home of Camp Rainier and to prepare for the arrival of the 4th Div, 3rd Bde on or around Nov 19th.
This is a large PDF file, will take time to load
This is a large PDF file, will take time to load